Washington, D.C. – Results from a pilot study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center show that grape seed extract and chromium—when taken together—may lower cholesterol levels.
The study, published in the December 2000 issue of the Journal of Medicine, found that, in a pilot trial involving 40 humans, grape seed extract and chromium taken together significantly decreased total and LDL cholesterol levels, and seemed to reduce the oxidized form of LDL. LDL is commonly referred to as the “bad” type of cholesterol; LDL and particularly oxidized LDL are known risk factors in heart disease.
These findings complement those of an earlier study, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition in 1999, which found that grape seed extract and chromium—when taken with zinc—significantly reduced systolic blood pressure over the course of a year in 108 hypertensive rats. High blood pressure is another important risk factor for heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 1 million Americans will suffer a heart attack this year, and about 40 percent of those individuals will die. Fortunately, several lifestyle changes can help improve heart health. Good nutrition habits, regular exercise, stress reduction and smoking cessation are recommended by the American Heart Association as the first line of defense in preventing cardiovascular disease.
“While it is important to remember that the human study is only a pilot study with a small number of participants, it seems clear that supplementing the diet with grape seed extract and chromium may have a powerful effect in significantly reducing total cholesterol, and particularly oxidized LDL cholesterol levels,” said Harry Preuss, M.D., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., professor of medicine and pathology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the lead researcher for both studies. “The next step is to expand the scope of this test and do another trial with a larger population.”
About the animal study, Preuss said, “It is also clear that grape seed extract, chromium and zinc can significantly reduce blood pressure in rats; the next step is to test these supplements on hypertensive humans.”
The grape seed extract used in these studies is sold under the brand name ActiVinTM, manufactured by Dry Creek Nutrition, Inc. based in Modesto, Calif. The chromium used in the studies is sold under the brand name ChromeMateTM, and the zinc is sold under the name OptiZincTM, both of which are manufactured by InterHealth, based in Benicia, California. Dry Creek Nutrition, Inc. funded these two studies.
Georgetown University Medical Center is one of the nation’s preeminent institutions of medical research and education. It includes a biomedical research enterprise as well as a nationally ranked School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies. For more information, please visit http://www.georgetown.edu/gumc.
Cite This Page: